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  • Writer's pictureLaura Schopen

Animal Reiki stories - Coco

One of the new joys of my healing work this year has been with animals. In full disclosure, I have not lived with many animals, and I have never felt a particular connection with the animal world as a rule. I also had two scary experiences as a kid with dogs, so I was always more wary around most of them, initially at least.

That said, I have had a few, isolated relationships and encounters with special animals in my life (mostly dogs) that have made me aware of how intelligent they can be, how much healing some of them have to offer, and how some have extrasensory perception that can be "off the charts."

Still, it's a surprise to me how my work has led to animal reiki, and that's what healing will do for you: Take you to unimagined places to do completely unexpected things.

I started with an ICRT Animal Reiki Level I/II class in March and recently took the ICRT Animal Reiki master training. I thought I was taking this training for personal development and because I have students who are interested in animal reiki and I wanted to be more knowledgeable for them. But I was wrong -- it's meant so much more to me.

It's like I'm seeing my world without some filter that I never knew I wore. We, all the forms that I see, are equal. We are uniquely gifted and uniquely limited, all works in progress. Somehow, every animal/human relationship is part of the perfect Plan of undoing fear and separation. We project our fear/neediness/shame/anger etc. onto animals/pets/nature, and we also learn how to let it all go and extend our Love to each other.

I want to share a story.

Coco is a stunning cocoa-colored Siberian husky with striking, steely blue-gray eyes. I first met him a few weeks ago. I was jogging to the park, and my friend J was just leaving but slowed down as he saw me. Coco was in the passenger seat of his SUV, head hanging out the window, and he "grinned" at me, practically piercing me with those eyes. I was immediately struck by him. I learned he was only a year old with still a lot of puppy in him, but already he had a tragic story. J was fostering him as a way to save him from being euthanized by the shelter. Evidently, after five failed attempts to adopt him out and a bite history, Coco's pattern of behavior had given him a reputation, and now at only 12 months he was considered a "bad" dog.

I spent an hour several days later at the dog park with Coco and J. Coco immediately sat on my feet, which I have experienced several times with other dogs that I've had a special connection with: Coco was making it official, and I was part of his pack. He let me offer some animal reiki, and he surprised J by hanging out with us in a mellow state (on his back in tummy-rubbing position) for quite a while. This was evidently in stark contrast to his normal Dog Park demeanor, a place that triggered several hours of racing around pell-mell, nipping at other dogs to get them to chase him. I was so moved that I went home and thoroughly considered adopting Coco. But after researching his breed, I realized he was too much dog for my inexperience, my quiet family, and my house, which doubles as my place of business.

Besides, J and Coco were clearly meant to be together.

Even though everyone who saw the two together knew they were meant for each other, J continued to insist he was searching for the "right family." Coco, on the other hand, had adopted my friend and was very clear about that. While J insisted otherwise, he sure looked happy! He was doing more of what he loves -- being with dogs, helping them through their behavioral hang ups, talking to dog people and comparing notes. He was getting lots of sunshine -- every day, twice a day.

One day J invited me to walk the dog park again, and he told me about a project to build a new chain link fence for Coco's pen. My heart warmed. I told him what a great idea it was, offered my help, then added with a wink -- "that's an awful permanent fence for a temporary dog."

I would see their car at the park on my daily walks/jogs. A couple times I heard about Coco's separation anxiety. J's upstairs neighbor told me that Coco couldn't stand being left in his pen even for 15 minutes while J mowed the lawn, that Coco would freak with extreme agitation. J said it was getting intense -- he needed to find ways to get away for a little while, but Coco was making it very hard.

We planned to do more animal reiki with Coco soon. Then during my animal master reiki class, while I was sitting at my computer listening to the instructors, a message dropped in from "nowhere." It was for J and Coco.

"Tell J he needs to tell Coco it's okay... he's home and J's his family now."

J and Coco and I got together for our 2nd animal reiki session a few days later. Coco ran up to me immediately and "assumed the position." I could feel him drinking in the reiki energy even before I offered it.

Again, J watched in awe. "That speaks volumes," referring to Coco's immediate transformation from hyper dog to lap dog. I spent almost an hour with Coco and J. J seemed to shift, too. He started talking about taking the animal reiki class I'd been urging him to consider and about making progress in a number of other areas that had been on hold in his life. He visibly softened. Like a good dad, he was snapping pics of Coco with his iPhone, and all the while he was watching Coco melt, he seemed to be opening to "the melt" too.

Animal reiki will do that. It heals both animals and their caregivers. I feel it is because Love knows how to get through the cracks we leave open in our defenses for our beloved animals to get in.

I shared the message that I'd received from Reiki. J's eyes widened -- "Oh, you're right. That's it." Coco's anxiety wouldn't go away until J told him he was safe and that he wasn't going to be left again. Coco knew.

J knew too.

We talked about how like kids, dogs, and the love we have for them, can teach us and draw out our selflessness. J determined to make the adoption official.

A few hours later I received a text from J -- this picture of Coco asleep in the pen that he had once been terrified to be left alone in.

A day later, Coco's adoption was official. A week later, J and Coco received an animal reiki placement. What a team they make.

I want to be super clear: Animal reiki is not a substitute for good behavioral training and veterinarian care. My friend J is very gifted with dogs. He is knowledgeable about dog behavioral rehabilitation, and he is also an intuitive and a "healer type." His patient dedication and consistent work, day after day, with Coco is a huge aspect of this dog's overall amazing transformation.

And Reiki played its part, too...Coco's trauma has healed and his anxiety is gone. He can be left and not be terrified. He does not destroy furniture anymore, or the car. He is calm, and he can be trusted in public places with all kinds of sensory stimulation that used to trigger him.

We are all J's and Coco's. And no matter what our species is, we are here to "walk each other home," as Ram Dass so succinctly put it. To allow up and to release all our fear, our blocks to Love. It's a masterful plan.

* * *

Contact me about your interest in my Animal Reiki class in June 2023 or learn about my animal reiki sessions.

Are you looking for support through Reiki, Animal Reiki, Angel Guidance, Hypnotherapy, or Spiritual Life Coaching? Book a session with me, or set up your session or 15-minute free consultation by booking online.

Laura Schopen, MS

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